The lure of living in Italy has always held a fascination for the British market and other foreign investors.  Many people, following years of visiting Italy on holiday, enjoying the climate, unique history, culture and cuisine, decide to buy a property of their own which has the dual advantage of providing their own haven to escape to on holiday, as well as also providing an income, as a holiday let, to finance their future holidays.

If you would like to purchase a property in Italy it need not be any more stressful than buying in the UK with the right professional advisors by your side.  There are variations in the process of property purchase in Italy compared with that in the UK and it is wise to be aware of the differences in the procedure before you start out.  Both EU and non-EU citizens have the right to buy property in Italy regardless of whether they are a permanent residents in Italy.  If you are not a permanent resident, that is no bar to visiting your property during the course of a year for a certain number of days.  

Property purchase in Italy for a foreign person is undertaken with the assistance of a notary.  If you cannot speak Italian or your Italian is not quite at a level to deal with legal documents you can request that the deed is drafted into your language (the notary must be proficient in the specific language of the translation) or you can also request the assistance of an interpreter for the translation of the Italian contract.  Alternatively, should you decide to appoint Giambrone we will attend the meetings a facilitate the translations.

The sale is made possible by the following steps:

  1. Due diligence carried out on the property to establish its soundness and provenance.
  2. Proposal of purchase to secure the transaction, it is necessary to transfer a part of the price (small percentage) as a deposit
  3. The preliminary contract, is signed together with the seller to agree the main aspect of the contract such as
  4. The price of the property, the timings of the sale, the deposit and details relating to the property are defined.
  5. The agreement is binding for both parties, should you not wish to proceed with the purchase, the seller is entitled to keep the deposit.  Should the seller not wish to proceed with the sale, they will have to pay double the amount of the deposit to you pursuant to art. 1385 Italian Civil Code.
  6. The sale deed, called the "rogito", is signed by both parties in the presence of the notary and witnesses.
  7. The deed is then taken to the Revenue Agency and registered within the public registry by the notary, who will also proceed to the cadastral transfer: the property is transferred through a deed recorded at the appropriate Ufficio del Territorio (which depends on the area where the property is located) 

Throughout all the steps listed above the support of an experienced property lawyer is crucial to look after your interests.

On a fiscal level, there are a variety of charges, fees and taxes and tax breaks that apply to the purchase of a property in Italy and Giambrone can advise on an individual case basis dependent on your circumstances

Once you own your Italian property you will need to address a number of issues surrounding real estate ownership in Italy.  The most pressing is matter is dealing with the tax liabilities that attach to an Italian residence or commercial property.   The tax responsibilities for property owners in Italy are

very different from those in the UK and in some cases, can be far more burdensome, in that the complexity of the system has created a situation whereby certain taxes can only be paid via an Italian bank account.  The tax regulations change frequently and there is no room for error and the penalties are costly. The charges vary depending on whether tax-breaks for the purchase of the first house apply.  Should this case, tax benefits are already provided at the time of the deed.

It is strongly recommended that you keep an experienced legal advisor by your side in the initial stages to ensure that you do not inadvertently breach the regulations

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.